April 6, 2015
There should have been a one-semester class – at the beginning of high school – called "Freshman Orientation for Life." They were concerned with getting us outta-there in the prescribed time period. Their horizon was four years; not thirty.
What would we have heard? Things like: you’d better take your Spanish seriously, because you’ll be living in the world’s #2 city for the language (LA; Mexico City is #1). PE? Forget the football; join the golf team (your prospective customer will never say, "Hey, your proposal is interesting. Want to get together and scrimmage so we can talk about it?"). Home Economics is a joke (in reality, you’ll live near an upscale grocery boutique that offers "heat ’n eat" gourmet goodies that you can pick up on the way home from another long day at the sweatshop). In Biology, listen-up when they get to DNA (or else, you won’t understand any of the prime time cop shows that depend on DNA). Wood shop? Oh, please! (Anything you need to know about furniture you’ll learn from the instructions that came with your assemble-it-yourself dining room set from IKEA!) And, don’t forget math. (Every year – about this time – you’ll be faced with "getting the stuff ready to go to the accountant." Tax time = Math time.)
We equate math with logic. When faced with a decision dilemma – you’ve got to make a call, and there are facts a ’plenty to consider – someone will give you the mindless counsel: "Do the math!" Translation: 1 + 1 = 2 is hiding somewhere in the enigma.
I did the math this week concerning Easter. I read a poll taken by a national enterprise, focused on America’s awareness of Easter.
Here’s what they discovered: among the 1000+ Americans who answered the phone and were willing to talk, 81% identified themselves as Christian. "Jesus was the Son of God." Agreeing to that statement were 78%. Was he the Messiah? "Yes," said 76%. Was Jesus resurrected on the third day? This is where it gets interesting: 40% said he was resurrected, physically; 38% said he was resurrected, spiritually. Implicit in that answer is a troubling observation: the "Christians" are "split" on the nature of the Resurrection. Half see it as literal; the other half have found a way to have Jesus "resurrected," without the participation of his physical self. What kind of "resurrection" is that? On that basis, every ghost story smacks of "resurrection!"
Big news, folks: do the math. It doesn’t take much time in the Bible to come to understand the flow of the formula for the Christian faith. Here’s the progression: first issue is the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Did he come out of the tomb on the Sunday of Passover Weekend, physically transformed, from death to immortal, glorified vitality? "Touch me and see," he told his confused followers. "Spirits do not have flesh and bone as I have." If Jesus was raised immortal (key distinction: Jesus "resurrected" Lazarus, but it was a restoration to mortal life, not a transformation to immortality), it changes everything.
“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
The bottom line: you can’t be "Christian" … without the real-deal Resurrection. God says so; do the math. Have you done the math… and come to the right answer?
He is Risen; He is Risen, Indeed!